Please select your home edition
MBW newsletters (top)

Traditional boat-building survives despite the hardship - Australian MarineBusinessWorld newsletter

by Peter Rendle 13 Aug 15:00 PDT
28ft Couta Boat built by Robert Gordon in Sydney © Andrea Francolini

Our industry spans a wide cross section of boating businesses. From mass-produced FRP manufacturing plants through hand-built timber boat yards the current pandemic has affected all of them. Today we bring you two profiles of the 'small end of town'. A note from a traditional builder and how they are responding to the pandemic, and from the other, a selection of pictures that reflect the 'art form' associated with traditional construction methods.

From South East Victoria, Corsair advises "We are all looking forward to the day when we can stroll along a beach, go boating (whether it be sailing or power boating), have a round of golf, catch up with family and friends and many other fun and social activities. Although this is not to happen in the foreseeable future, under the recently announced Victorian State Governments Stage 4 Restrictions, we are able to keep trading under strict conditions. This means we are able to haul out boats, store them in our secured yard in Rosebud, and perform maintenance and servicing."

From New South Wales, builder Gordon Wooden Boats, nestled into the railway aqueduct at Lavender Bay, is where Robert Gordon and his team are hard at work finishing a 28' Couta Boat. Yes, she's a long way from her spiritual home of Sorrento, but around 12 years ago, Mark Abbott (now Corsair Boats) penned this slightly longer version of the venerable 'fishing' craft when he was at Tim Phillip's Wooden Boat Shop. Andrea Francolini combines his photographic ability to convey "marine art" with a series of black and white images.

As the world discusses the best way to maintain energy sources, electric-powered boats are becoming a reality. Not everyone wants to power along at 24 knots and Flagstaff Marine was recently chosen to be the NSW agent for Silent Yachts, pioneers in solar-powered cruising. "We were attracted to Silent Yachts because they offer their owners a proven capability to explore the oceans of the world in a power catamaran that is powered by solar energy". Their vision is to "establish a new era of sustainable yachting by creating the most innovative and self-sufficient yachts".

Cruising at 6-7 knots the revolutionary Silent Yacht twin electric motors rely solely on the power of the sun captured via the array of solar panels on the roof and highly efficient battery banks on board. If weather or circumstances require that you need to reach your destination in a hurry then the onboard generator can supply additional charge to the batteries and enable you to cruise at speeds of up to 17 knots.

However, on Sydney Harbour, conventional technology is being used to keep an eye on boating activity. Safety on Australia's most iconic waterway is in for a boost, with the delivery of a new state-of-the art patrol boat. NSW Maritime Acting Executive Director Alex Barrell said the new eight-metre NSW Maritime patrol boat would be operated on Sydney Harbour by boating safety officers who provide on-water safety advice and help to boaters 365 days a year.

"Sydney Harbour-based boating safety officers have their job cut out for them with the diversity of water craft, from kayaks to the Manly ferry, and this new patrol boat will help with the task of keeping everyone on the harbour safe," Mr Barrell said. "The new vessel is equipped with the latest navigation equipment, including digital switching that will allow operation from two multi-functional display screens. It also features Doppler radar, a rear-facing camera, 3D sonar and sounder and forward-looking infrared technology."

And as promised in last week's newsletter, a boat review of the latest Maritimo offering, the X50R. editor, John Curnow, takes you on a trip that gives a detailed analysis of this incredible craft, complete with a video.

Stay safe,
Peter Rendle

Related Articles

ABD Session 1: South and South East Asia
160 industry professionals listening in Over 160 industry professionals joined together for the first of the two free online sessions that make up the Asia Boating Dialogue 2020. An up-date of the Asia Boating Forum (ABF) which was started five years ago Posted on 22 Sep
Asia Boating Dialogue 2020: joining the dots
Please tell us something new... Asia is a big place. From the Indian Ocean to Pacific, it's all ‘Asia' (unless you go a long way south). It involves a huge number of countries, with all the associated variations and complications of regulations that entails. Posted on 22 Sep
Asia Boating Dialogue: ready to roll
As of 19 September, 179 attendees from 30 countries are registered for ABD 2020. Happily, the forthcoming Asia Boating Dialogue (ABD) is attracting a good deal of interest. ABD originated as the Asia Boating Forum, when representatives of the leisure marine industry in various countries got together to compare notes Posted on 19 Sep
Online communications set to continue post-Covid
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter One of the spin-offs from the Covid pandemic is the take up by industry and businesses of digital communication. Organisations used to communicating via traditional means are now embracing the efficiency of multi-view media such as Zoom. Posted on 17 Sep
Thailand opens the door... just a bit
Special Tourist Visa for 90 days, with 14 days mandatory pre-paid quarantine Thai Cabinet approves long-term extendable tourist visa with compulsory quarantine Posted on 17 Sep
National Boating Week - an initiative from the BIA
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter This week we begin with an interview between Sail-World's Managing Editor, Mark Jardine and Boating Industry Association President, Darren Vaux. Posted on 10 Sep
Singapore Yacht Show 2020: postponed
New dates 22-25 April 2021. The difference between ‘postponed' and ‘cancelled' is a moot point. The 2020 Singapore Yacht Show was originally slated for 19-22 March this year, but succumbed to Covid-19 and moved itself off to 15-18 October. Posted on 4 Sep
Australian newsletter
Vale Peter McEachern Campbell - 23/10/30 – 1/9/20 It was with much sadness that I read the news of Peter Campbell's passing. I'd known Peter over the past 38 years in the marine media business. Posted on 3 Sep
Sanya Embraces Boating
Hainan IEDB on the drawing board The Sanya Central Business District Administration is focusing on new ways to promote boating in China. The Sanya authorities have created an ‘international yacht exchange centre' that will educate a new audience Posted on 28 Aug
Marina Industry proves resilient
Peter Rendle's latest Australian newsletter While the world continues to look for an answer to the global pandemic, business continues to adjust to the 'new norm'. The marina industry plays a pivotal role in providing berths, maintenance and service for a wide range of boat ownership. Posted on 27 Aug
MBW newsletters (top)